Laser sensor system scans railway tracks
August 18, 2014 // Christoph Hammerschmidt
To keep the track infrastructure safe, railway operators need to acquire many track parameters in regular intervals. Irregularities in the rail geometry can cause sudden cracks in the steel rails since these are under high tensions. These cracks in turn can initiate domino effects with rails and railway sleepers tearing over large stretches. An innovative optical sensor system surveys the tracks quickly and safely. A laser scanner acquires geometrical irregularities and transforms them into 3D images.
Today the state of the art in surveying a railway track infrastructure is camera-based systems. These systems however have a number of drawbacks: The quality of the results heavily depends on the lighting conditions, and they require a rather complex processing of image data. In addition, the image data are demanding a very large memory space.
In its Rail Track Scanner (RTS), Fraunhofer IPM for the first time utilises a laser scanner to measure rails, railheads, sleepers and rail bed. The specific optical design allows the scanner to be mounted just 1.2 meters above the rail bed. The device scans the tracks transversely to the measurement vehicle movement at a track width of some 1.7 metres. With up to 2 million single measurements per second, the instrument generates up to 800 profiles, providing a detailed three-dimensional image of the tracks and the infrastructure that is associated directly to it. Out of the cluster of points generated, appropriate algorithms extract parameters such as distance, height and tilt of the rails as well as the exact geometry of the railheads. These parameters then are compared with set values. The scan frequency can be adapted to the respective task. Topographic structures and deviations are identified at an exactness of less than 1 mm.
The scanner has the size of a shoebox and thus can be mounted to any rail vehicle. Thus, the RTS offers a cost-effective option to automatically survey the rail infrastructure without the need to acquire a specific measurement vehicle. Utilising an eye-safe infrared laser (class I), the scanner can be deployed in the public space without any restrictions. The instrument, which will be introduced to the public at the Innotrans trade fair in September, will be utilised by Swiss mobile mapping services company iNovitas to survey narrow-gauge lines in Switzerland.All news
Endoscopic measurement method allows quieter, more reliable jet engines
December 21, 2014
A team of scientists from German aerospace research centre DLR has developed an optical measurement method that enables direct ...
Pathway to converting sunlight to electricity is indentified
How industrial IoT will drive the MEMS market indirectly
Successful with phones & drones, Parrot ponders farming
Qimonda's late legacy: 28nm FeRAM
Volvo airs cloud-based cyclist protection system
December 19, 2014
The facts are disturbing: 50 percent of all cyclists killed in Europe's traffic have collided with a car. In Germany, the ...
Sony transforms eyewear into smart augmented reality devices
Harman grabs hidden infotainment gem S1nn
Alps Electric puts cash into Qualtre
- New life for Embedded systems in the Internet of Things
- Virtualization and the Internet of Things
- RF/Microwave Instrumentation “S” Series Amplifiers
- Application Guide to RF Coaxial Connectors and Cables
InterviewCEO interview: Bosch's IoT startup is all about the system
Thorsten Mueller, CEO of Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH (Reutlingen, Germany), has been guiding the latest startup subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH since 2013 when he started the initiative ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Arrow Electronics is giving away ten BeMicro Max 10 FPGA evaluation boards together with an integrated USB-Blaster, each package being worth 90 Euros, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Designed to get you started with using an FPGA, the BeMicro Max 10 adopts Altera's non-volatile MAX 10 FPGA built on 55-nm flash process.
The MAX 10 FPGAs are claimed to revolutionize...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.